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11 Regional Asian Cuisines Everyone Must Eat Once In Life

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1. Fujian Cuisine » China

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Why you should know it:

Fujian cuisine is a harmony of exotic ingredients from the mountains and many kinds of seafood. The cuisine is noteworthy for its many soups.

Start with:

* Oyster Omelet (left), a savory egg pancake with oysters and sprouts.

* Seafood Satay Noodle Soup (right), arguably the most famous dish in Xiamen, a rich nutty curry soup with wheat noodles and seafoods.

2. Goan Cuisine » India

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Why you should know it:

Indian cuisine doesn't usually bring seafood to mind. However, spicy and pungent fish curries are the cornerstone Goan food.

Start with:

* Goan Pomfret Curry (left), a red chili fish curry, a staple of Goan cuisine, prepared here with pomfret.

* Crab Xec Xec (right), a crab curry with flavors of turmeric and multiple chilies, served with white rice.

3. Okinawan Cuisine » Japan

Thinkstock / pelican / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: pelican / TOHRU MINOWA/a.collectionRF / Getty Images

Why you should know it:

It's an entirely different side of Japanese food. The cuisine borrows much from the other Asian countries with whom it has historic trade relations, and it features plenty of pork.

Start with:

* Okinawa Soba (left), a style of soba featuring wheat noodles and slow-cooked pork spare ribs with ginger and scallion.

* Goya Chanpuru (right), a signature dish that is a mixture of goya — a green gourd — with pork, eggs, tofu, and tempura.

4. Javanese Cuisine » Java, Indonesia

brother-harahap / CC BY 2.0 / jv.wikipedia.org / Thinkstock.

Why you should know it:

Because Indonesia, an island nation with hundreds of different ethnic groups, has one of the most diverse food cultures on Earth. Javanese cuisine is coastal and filled with spicy and sweet flavors, depending on the region.


Start with:

* Tumpeng (left), a cone of rice surrounded by an assortment of smaller dishes.

* Pepes (right), fish mixed with a chili paste then steamed inside a banana leaf.

5. Isaan Cuisine » Thailand

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Why you should know it:

These are the foods indigenous to the Northeast area of the country. While it hasn't made it onto the global scene, it's immensely popular within Thailand.

Start with:

* Papaya Salad (left), the most famous Inaan dish, made with unripe papaya, fish sauce, peanuts, chillies, and lime.

* Isan Sausages (right), a sausage made of fermented pork and sticky rice with peppers.

6. Cebuano Cuisine » Philippines

Thinkstock / insatiablemunch / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr: insatiablemunchies

Why you should know it:

Cebuano is a rich and complete cuisine that makes use of local ingredients and has a thriving street food culture.

Start with:

* Ginabot (left), deep-fried pork innards seasoned with spices, served with vinegar, chili, and lime.

* Lechón (right), a whole roasted pig prepared for special occasions — the main event in Cebuano cuisine.

7. Pojangmacha (Street Food) » South Korea

Thinkstock / Marisa Vega Photographer / Getty Images / whitewish / Getty Images

Why you should know it:

Pojangmacha are street vendors found in markets all across South Korea. They're best enjoyed at night and serve a huge assortment of delicious snacks and foods...along with plenty of soju.

Start with:

* Tteokbokki (left), spicy rice cakes in a sweet and spicy chili paste sauce.

* Sundae (right), sausage stuffed with noodles, barley, spices, and pig blood. Often served with liver. It's Korean black pudding!

8. Hue Cuisine » Vietnam

Charles Haynes / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: haynes / Thinkstock

Why you should know it:

Hue has a unique culinary history within Vietnamese cuisine because it was the historic seat of the Emperor. Imperial Cuisine arose to please Nguyen feudal lords. It has since mixed with popular street food.

Start with:

* Hue Pancake (left), a crispy crepe filled with shrimp, pork belly, and bean sprouts.

* Bun Bo Hue (right), a noodle soup with round rice noodles, beef, pork shank, bean sprouts, green onions, and chili paste. Pho isn't the only Vietnamese soup!

9. Padang Cuisine » West Sumatra, Indonesia

Thinkstock, 2 / Noni Khairani / EyeEm / Getty Images

Why you should know it:

Padang is perhaps the most famous of Indonesian cuisines. It's loved the world over. The cuisine is all about spicy gulai (curry).

Start with:

* Beef Rendang (left), a curried beef that's spicy and unctuous. Once called the tastiest food in the world.

* Daun Ubi Tumbuk (right), a common side dish of mashed cassava leaves.

10. Yōshoku Cuisine » Japan

Kousuke Sekidou / CC BY-SA 2.0 / commons.wikimedia.org / Yuya Tamai / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr: tamaiyuya

Why you should know it:

Yōshoku translates to "Western meal" and refers to all the Japanese dishes that borrow heavily from Western food. It's a tasty take on American and English staples.

Start with:

* Naporitan (left), a version of spaghetti made with ketchup and Tabasco.

* Hamburg Steak (right), a Japanese take on Salisbury steak served with brown onion gravy.

11. Cantonese Cuisine » China

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Why you should know it:

Cantonese is the "most widely served style of Chinese food in the world." When you eat Chinese outside of China, you are most likely eating something with heavy Cantonese influence.

Start with:

* Dim Sum (left), smaller portions of food served from steamer baskets, including dumplings, steamed buns, and other delicacies.

* Char Siu Pork (right), Cantonese-style roasted pork.

The world is full of appetizing adventures, if you can find the spirit to undertake the journey.

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